What Did Popular Culture And Consumer Goods Have In Common In The 1920s

Pop Culture and Consumerism in the 1920s — UNLV Public History

It might be difficult to communicate across cultural barriers. In every culture, there are a set of norms that its members accept as fact. Because cultural imprinting begins at a very young age, few of us are conscious of our own cultural prejudices. While some of a culture’s knowledge, laws, beliefs, values, phobias, and fears are formally taught, the vast majority of information is absorbed subconsciously. No time in history has there been a bigger challenge for global communication. Intercultural communication has become increasingly important to commercial organizations throughout the world, not just as a result of rising globalization, but also because their domestic workforce is becoming increasingly varied, both racially and culturally.

Generalizations, on the other hand, are genuine in the sense that they give indicators as to what you would most likely experience when working with individuals of a specific culture.

Culturally diverse audiences have an impact on any worldwide communication.

Not the degree of industrialisation, but rather whether or not a country falls into a high-context or low-context culture may be the decisive factor.

The low-context cultures (such as those found in the majority of Germanic and English-speaking nations) on the other hand, demand that signals be precise and particular.

Other cultures see time as synchronic, as a continuous flow that must be experienced in the present moment, and as an uncontrollable force that can neither be contained nor controlled by humans.

In asynchronous cultures (such as those found in South America, southern Europe, and Asia), the passage of time is perceived as a type of circle, with the past, present, and future all intertwined and interdependent.

Another facet of time that differs between cultures is the way in which people relate to the past, the present, and the future Americans feel that they can affect the future by their own efforts, but because there are too many factors in the distant future, we choose to take a more immediate approach.

  • When it comes to crucial relationships, there is a lasting link that lasts through both the present and the future.
  • What is the difference between being emotional and being neutral?
  • Our approach will determine which of these will take precedence based on whether or not we areaffective (prone to exhibiting emotions) or emotionallyneutral in nature.
  • Those who live in cultures with a high level of affect express their emotions openly through laughter, smiles, grimacing, and scowling; they may also weep, yell, or leave the room.

According to the study, emotional reactions were determined to be least acceptable in countries such as Japan, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the Netherlands and the most acceptable in countries such as Italy, France, the United States, and Singapore All human communication includes both logic and emotion.

If our approach is extremely emotional, we are looking for a direct emotional reaction, such as “I feel the same way you do.

If you are from a non-cultural background, it is easy to empathize with the Dutch manager and his aggravation at having to argue with “that exuberant Italian.” A concept is either successful or unsuccessful, and the only method to determine whether or not a concept is viable is via trial and error.

That isn’t always the case for the Italian, who regarded the subject as intensely personal and who regarded any “logical argument” as completely unimportant!

It is important to remember that no culture is greater or worse than another; they are just different.

Developing an awareness of and profound regard for cultural diversity is essential for achieving cross-cultural success. Please note that this item has been reproduced from the American Management Association’s website, which is located at

The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties were a time in history marked by significant social and political transformation. For the first time, more people lived in cities than on farms in the United States. Over the period 1920 to 1929, the nation’s overall wealth more than quadrupled, and this economic expansion swept many Americans into an opulent but foreign “consumer culture.” People from coast to coast purchased the same things (due to widespread advertising and the proliferation of chain stores), listened to the same music, danced the same way, and even used the same lingo!

The 1920s, on the other hand, were a resounding success for a tiny group of young people living in the nation’s major cities.

The ‘New Woman’

The flapper, a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked, and said things that would be considered “unladylike,” in addition to being more sexually “loose” than previous generations, is undoubtedly the most well-known icon of the “Roaring Twenties.” Even though most young women in the 1920s performed none of these things (though many did adopt a trendy flapper attire), even those who were not flappers had unparalleled liberties during this period.

Finally, they were able to vote: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution had granted that right in 1920, however it would be decades before African American women in the South were able to fully exercise their right to vote without being intimidated by Jim Crow laws and practices.

Women were able to have fewer children as a result of greater availability of birth-control methods such as the diaphragm, which was previously unavailable.

Mass Communication and Consumerism

A large number of Americans had additional money to spend throughout the 1920s, and they used it to purchase consumer items such as ready-to-wear clothing and household equipment such as electric refrigerators. The radios were among the items they purchased. A commercial radio station, Pittsburgh’s KDKA, broadcast its inaugural broadcast on the radio airwaves in 1920; three years later, there were more than 500 stations broadcasting around the country. By the end of the 1920s, radios could be found in more than 12 million households worldwide.

The vehicle, on the other hand, was the most significant consumer product of the 1920s.

In 1929, there was one automobile for every five people in the United States. Meanwhile, an automotive economy began to emerge, with businesses such as service stations and hotels springing up to suit the demands of drivers.

The Jazz Age

A large number of Americans had additional money to spend throughout the 1920s, and they used it to buy consumer items such as ready-to-wear clothing and household equipment such as electric refrigerators. They purchased radios, in particular. A commercial radio station, Pittsburgh’s KDKA, broadcast its inaugural broadcast on the radio airwaves in 1920. Three years later, there were more than 500 stations broadcasting across the country. By the end of the 1920s, radios could be found in more than 12 million houses nationwide.

Despite this, automobiles were the most popular consumer goods during the 1920s.

One car was on the road for every five Americans in 1929, according to statistics.

Prohibition

A large number of Americans had additional money to spend throughout the 1920s, and they used it to purchase consumer items such as ready-to-wear clothing and household equipment such as electric refrigerators. They purchased radios in particular. When Pittsburgh’s KDKA became the nation’s first commercial radio station in 1920, there were more than 500 stations broadcasting across the country. By the end of the 1920s, radios could be found in more than 12 million homes. During this period, many people also went to the movies: historians estimate that three-quarters of the American population attended a movie theater at least once per week by the end of the decade.

Low pricing (the FordModel T cost only $260 in 1924) and flexible credit made automobiles attainable indulgences at the start of the decade; by the conclusion, they had become virtually indispensable.

Meanwhile, an automotive economy began to emerge, with businesses such as service stations and hotels springing up to suit the demands of drivers.

The ‘Cultural Civil War’

During the 1920s, prohibition was not the only source of social unrest in the United States. As part of the anti-Communist “Red Scare” campaign in 1919 and 1920, there was widespread nativist and anti-immigrant hysteria. Because of this, the National Origins Act of 1924, which established immigration quotas that excluded some groups (mostly Eastern Europeans and Asians) in favor of others, was enacted in response to the crisis (Northern Europeans and people from Great Britain, for example). In this decade, immigrants were not the only ones who were targeted.

  1. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan attracted the attention of millions of people not just in the South but throughout the country, including the west coast, the Midwest, and the Northeast.
  2. More particularly, the 1920s were a period of economic and political advancement for African Americans, which posed a danger to the social order of Jim Crow persecution at the time.
  3. Many of those who relocated to the northern hemisphere found work in the car, steel, shipbuilding, and meatpacking sectors, among others.
  4. In 1925, civil rights pioneer A.
  5. When Black people in the North demanded more housing, so did discriminatory housing policies, which resulted in the establishment of urban ghettos, where African Americans were segregated from white districts and consigned to insufficient, overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions.
  6. As a result of the 1920 presidential election, the NAACP initiated investigations into African American disenfranchisement, as well as outbreaks of white mob violence, such as theTulsa Race Massacreof 1921.
  7. However, the bill was rejected in the Senate in 1922 due to a filibuster.
  8. This marked a watershed moment in the political history of Black Americans.

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The Rise of American Consumerism

Tupperware!|Article

The Rise of American Consumerism

Automobiles, televisions, and other contemporary appliances were among the purchases made by Americans. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. At the conclusion of World War II, returning American servicemen found themselves in a nation that had changed dramatically from the one they had left four years earlier. Because of World War II output, the American economy was able to emerge from the Great Depression, and from the late 1940s on, young people enjoyed a significant increase in their purchasing power.

  • This occurred at the same time that an unprecedented number of young couples were marrying and having children.
  • Bill of Rights, which were typically located in quickly developing suburbs.
  • In fact, throughout the 1950s, the American consumer was hailed as a patriotic citizen for his or her role in contributing to the eventual triumph of the American way of life.
  • Aside from televisions and automobiles, the commodities that people wished for the most towards the conclusion of the war included washing machines, refrigerators, toasters, and vacuum cleaners: the appliances that would allow them to update their lives.
  • Elaine Tyler May, a historian, said, “The principles connected with domestic expenditure reinforced traditional American concerns with practicality and morality, rather than grandeur and luxury, as opposed to international spending.
  • Automobiles were in more demand than ever before as a result of the tremendous rise in suburban populations, and they were within reach of many first-time buyers.
  • With tales involving ethnic families, certain television series, such as The Goldbergs and The Honeymooners, targeted to working- and middle-class audiences in the United States.
  • “The Good Life” is a term used to describe a way of life that is enjoyable and fulfilling.
  • Working-class individuals might accomplish the upward mobility they desired if they were able to afford the items that marked “the good life.” Selling in order to buy is a common practice.
  • After all, Tupperware was created to assist housewives in maintaining the freshness and sanitation of food throughout storage and preparation of meals.

The following is what Jean Conlogue said when asked how she attracted new dealers to her Tupperware distributorship: “We attempted to meet a need for something that they desired, like new carpet or a new refrigerator, and then we would lay out for them how many parties they would have to throw.” Promotions and rewards provided by the corporation helped to further increase consumption.

Sales representatives from Tupperware were rewarded with luxury equipment ranging from washing machines to double boilers in recognition of their achievements.

Chapter 23 Quiz – Chapter 23 Quiz 1 What characterized the period Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover described as a New Era in 1920 a A freewheeling

Quiz on Chapter 23 1.What characteristics marked the time in 1920 that Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover referred to as the “New Era”? As a result of the Harding administration’s efforts to build prosperity at home in 1920 and 1921, the United States returned to a peacetime economy in 1920 and 1921. President Harding’s administration was distinguished by the following:5.President Calvin Coolidge’s economic strategy included the following: Sixth, what did the results of the 1924 presidential election, in which Calvin Coolidge beat John W.

7.The most ambitious foreign policy project undertaken by President Harding was Which of the following was the goal of the Dawes Plan, which was implemented in 1924: Nine.

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As a result of the change in the 1920s from manual labor to repetitious assembly-line work and specialized managerial divisions, the result was 11.

12.

Prosperity and the Production of Popular Entertainment

You will be able to do the following by the conclusion of this section:

  • Examine the significance that movies have had in the development of American culture. Explain how sports have risen to become a powerful societal force. Examine the manner in which the vehicle, particularly the Model T, altered the course of American history.

When it came to wealth in the 1920s, it presented itself in a variety of ways, most notably through developments in entertainment and technology, which resulted in new patterns of leisure and spending. With the rise in popularity of movies and sports, as well as the ability to buy on credit or “carry” debt, the selling of more consumer items and the affordability of vehicles for ordinary Americans were made possible. Commercial radio and magazines elevated sportsmen and actors to the status of national symbols as a result of this new consumer economy, and advertising became a fundamental institution in this new consumer economy.

  • Because of an increase in interest in “moving pictures” throughout the first half of the decade, “movie palaces,” which could accommodate thousands of people, sprung up in major cities.
  • People of all ages used to go to the movies on a far more frequent basis than they do now, with many attending more than once a week.
  • The first generation of cinema stars was born in the early 1920s, thanks to the silent films of the era.
  • Charlie Chaplin, on the other hand, was the celebrity who captivated the interest of the American viewing audience the most.

It was the recurrent figure in several of Charlie Chaplin’s silent films, such as 1921’s The Kid, in which Jackie Coogan played the main part, that earned him the nickname “The Tramp.” After The Jazz Singer, the first “talkie,” was released in New York in 1927, the world of the silent film began to dwindle and eventually died.

  1. After growing up in a Jewish family and being trained to be the cantor at the local synagogue, he goes on to become a well-known and “Americanized” jazz singer in New York City.
  2. It rapidly became a tremendous hit for Warner Brothers, which, together with Twentieth Century Fox, RKO Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is considered one of Hollywood’s “big five” motion film studios.
  3. Film production was first centered in and around New York, where Thomas Edison introduced the kinetoscope in 1893, marking the beginning of the modern film industry.
  4. W.
  5. During the time when Griffith was filmingIn Old California(1910), the first picture ever shot inHollywood, California, the little community north of Los Angeles was nothing more than a village, according to Griffith.
  6. After a period of sleepiness, the once-sleepy town became the center of a very prosperous inventive business in the United States by the 1920s.

During the 1920s, a large proportion of the United States population gained access to new modes of transportation as automobile manufacturers began to mass produce what had previously been considered a luxury item and daring aviators both demonstrated and pushed forward advancements in aircraft technology.

Rather than Henry Ford, the Duryea brothers in Massachusetts, as well as Gottlieb W.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, there were hundreds of automobile manufacturers.

Ford’s innovation lay in his focus on using mass production to manufacture automobiles; he revolutionized industrial work by perfecting the assembly line, which enabled him to lower the Model T’s price from $850 in 1908 to $300 in 1924, making car ownership a realistic possibility for a large segment of the population.

  • As prices fell, an increasing number of individuals were able to afford to acquire an automobile.
  • By 1929, there were more than twenty-three million vehicles on the highways of the United States.
  • It is important to note that prices have not yet fallen significantly from their original high of $850.
  • Workers on a Ford automotive manufacturing line are shown in this photograph from a 1928 Literary Digest interview with Henry Ford, which was published in the magazine Literary Digest.
  • Ford refused to allow his employees to form a union, and the monotonous, repetitive nature of assembly line labor resulted in a high turnover rate for the company.
  • Due to the fact that he paid white and black workers equally, Ford’s assembly line provided greater equality than most other employment options at the time.
  • Ford even purchased a block of land in the Amazonian rainforest that was twice the size of Delaware with the intention of establishing an industrial town he named Fordlandia.

But in the United States, Ford was instrumental in establishing the nation’s style of industrialism, which was based on providing employees a living wage so that they could afford to be the consumers of their own manufactured goods.

Industries such as glass, steel, and rubber processing grew in response to the increase in vehicle manufacturing.

Local and state governments were forced to support a massive expansion of infrastructure as a result of the demand for public highways.

This new infrastructure ushered in a variety of new retail and living patterns, with streetcar suburbs giving way to automotive suburbs as private automobile traffic on public highways began to take the place of mass transportation on trains and trolleys.

Male pilots had been flying for two decades by the mid-1920s, with several pioneering female pilots, such as African American stunt flier Bessie Coleman, joining them.

A famous quote by Orville Wright, who was credited with being one of the early pioneers of aviation technology in the United States, reads, “No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris because no known engine can operate at the required speed for four days without stopping.” This mistrust was ultimately dispelled in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, covering the distance from New York to Paris in thirty-three hours.

  1. The Spirit of St Louis (a), the plane in which Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris, France, in 1927, is displayed in front of the plane.
  2. Lindbergh’s trip elevated him to the status of international hero, making him the most well-known American in the world.
  3. Seen as a victory of individuality in modern mass society, his flight in the monoplaneSpirit of St.
  4. Immediately following his triumph, the little airline business began to flourish, eventually coming into its own in the 1930s when firms such as Boeing and Ford created airplanes that were specially tailored to the needs of passenger air transport.
  5. In 1934, the number of domestic air passengers in the United States was little more than 450,000 a year.

It was claimed in this advertisement for Palmolive soap that the soap’s “moderate price is due to popularity, to the enormous demand which keeps Palmolive factories working day and night,” and that as a result, “the old-time luxury of the few may now be enjoyed throughout the world” (Ladies’ Home Journal, 1922).

  • As electricity became more widely available and the electric motor became more efficient, inventors were able to produce more and more complex household appliances as the technology advanced.
  • Despite the fact that they were pricey, new consumer-purchasing technologies like as store credit and payment plans made them more accessible to a greater proportion of the public than ever before.
  • Ironically, these labor-saving technology actually increased the burden for women by elevating the standards of household work, which was in turn a source of conflict.
  • Despite the fact that the promise of more leisure time was largely unfulfilled, the allure of technology as a gateway to a more relaxed way of life has endured for many years now.
  • The efforts of advertisements had a significant role in the widespread use of automobiles, home appliances, ready-to-wear apparel, and processed foods.
  • Colorful and occasionally provocative print advertisements adorned the pages of these publications, and they eventually became a staple of popular culture in the United States.
  • In reality, these eye-catching print advertisements were only the most recent iteration of a marketing approach that dates back to the eighteenth century.

When radios were first introduced during World War I, they quickly became a popular fixture in American homes by the 1920s.

These stations produced and transmitted news, serial tales, and political speeches, among other programming.

Consumers’ active engagement was not required, as was the case with magazines and newspapers, therefore advertisers did not have to rely on it.

On the other hand, because of their larger audience, they were required to be more conservative and cautious in order not to upset anybody.

What does the video clip reveal about the entertainment scene in the 1920s?

Unlike these print media, radio, on the other hand, created and broadcasted American culture, bringing it into the homes of families all over the country far more effectively.

The internet has eliminated the distinction between small areas of the country that were previously separated by their lack of access to information.

This had the effect of smoothing out regional differences in dialect, language, music, and even consumer taste, as well as differences in consumer preferences.

Sports entertainment became more accessible to millions of people after the introduction of play-by-play descriptions of sporting events broadcast on radio began to be broadcast.

Jim Thorpe, who grew up in Oklahoma’s Sac and Fox Nation, was widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest athletes, having achieved the following achievements: He competed in the 1912 Olympic Games, played Major League Baseball, and was a founder member of the National Football League, among many other accomplishments.

  • Gertrude Ederle made history in 1926 by being the first woman to swim the English Channel.
  • Harold “Red” Grange was a running back for the University of Illinois during his college football career, averaging more than 10 yards per carry on average.
  • He transformed baseball from a low-scoring sport dominated by pitchers to one in which his hitting became well-known and admired by fans.
  • In the year 1924, he hit a total of sixty home runs.
  • Photograph taken outside the New York Yankees dugout in 1921 shows him in a relaxed state of mind.
  • credit a: Library of Congress’s alteration of an existing piece of work The decade of the 1920s was a decade of extraordinary wealth for many middle-class Americans.
  • It was at the same time that technical advancements were occurring and fueling them, which resulted in the exploding popularity of entertainments such as movies, sports, and radio shows.

A large industry developed around advertising, which grew in importance alongside the manufactured commodities that marketers represented. Many families relied on new kinds of credit to enhance their consumption levels and aim for a new American standard of life.

Review Question

  1. When it came to prosperity in the 1920s, it manifested itself in a variety of ways, most notably through advancements in entertainment and technology that resulted in new patterns of leisure and consumption. Cinema and sports became increasingly popular, as did borrowing money or “carrying” debt. These developments allowed more consumer goods to be sold, as well as the availability of automobiles to more people. Commercial radio and magazines elevated athletes and actors to the status of national icons as a result of the new consumer economy, and advertising became a central institution in this new consumer society. The increased prosperity of the 1920s provided many more Americans with more disposable income to spend on entertainment and other leisure activities. “Movie palaces,” which could hold thousands of people, sprang up in major cities as the popularity of “moving pictures” increased in the first half of the decade. A ticket for a double feature and a live show cost twenty-five cents
  2. For a quarter, Americans could get away from their problems and lose themselves in another era or world of entertainment. When compared to today, people of all ages used to go to the movies on a much more regular basis, frequently going more than once a week. Towards the end of the decade, the number of people who went to the movies every week had increased to ninety million. Beginning in the early 1920s, the first generation of movie stars emerged from the world of silent films. Millions of moviegoers in the United States were captivated by Rudolph Valentino, the lothario with the bedroom eyes, and Clara Bow, the “It Girl” with sex appeal. The attention of the American viewing public was drawn to Charlie Chaplin, however, more than any other actor or performer. During his lifetime, this sad-eyed tramp with a moustache, baggy pants, and a cane was the most popular movie attraction in the country. It was the recurring character in many of Charlie Chaplin’s silent films, such as 1921’s The Kid, in which Jackie Coogan played the title role, that inspired the nickname “The Tramp” for the comedian. After The Jazz Singer, the first “talkie,” was released in New York in 1927, the world of the silent film began to fade. With Al Jolson in the lead role, the plot of this film from the 1920s told a story that was distinctively American. After growing up in a Jewish family and being groomed to be the cantor at the local synagogue, he goes on to become a well-known and “Americanized” jazz singer in his later years. Across the country, audiences were enthusiastic about both the story and the new audio technology that was used to tell it. In a short period of time, it became a huge hit for Warner Brothers, which was one of the “big five” motion picture studios in Hollywood, alongside Twentieth Century Fox, RKO Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. California’s southern coast had only recently established itself as the epicenter of the American film industry, however, when The Great War ended in World War I. Original film production centers were in and around New York, where Thomas Edison introduced the kinetoscope in 1893, marking the beginning of the modern film industry. However, this began to change in the 1910s, as major filmmakers such as D. W. Griffith sought to avoid paying the high costs associated with Edison’s patents on camera technology. By the time Griffith shotIn Old California(1910), the first film ever to be shot inHollywood, Californa, the small town north of Los Angeles had barely grown into a village. During this period, as moviemakers flocked to southern California, not least because of the region’s favorable climate and predictable sunshine, the film industry flourished. As early as the 1920s, the once-sleepy village was home to an innovative industry that was a major source of revenue for the United States. Not only did the film industry make significant technological advances during this decade, but so did other major industries as well. During the 1920s, a large proportion of the United States population gained access to new modes of transportation as automobile manufacturers began to mass produce what had previously been considered a luxury item and as daring aviators both demonstrated and pushed forward advances in aircraft technology. The most significant innovation of this time period was Henry Ford’s Model T Ford, which made automobile ownership affordable for the average American citizen. There were several early pioneers, including the Duryea brothers in Massachusetts and Gottlieb W. Daimler and Karl Friedrich Benz in Germany, who came before Ford. Hundreds of automobile manufacturers existed by the early twentieth century. They all, however, produced items that were too pricey for the majority of Americans in their respective price ranges. Ford’s innovation lay in his focus on using mass production to manufacture automobiles
  3. He revolutionized industrial work by perfecting the assembly line, which enabled him to lower the Model T’s price from $850 in 1908 to $300 in 1924, making car ownership a realistic possibility for a large portion of the population. Ford’s innovation lay in his focus on using mass production to manufacture automobiles. Increasingly more individuals could afford to acquire an automobile as the cost of living decreased. With the advent of low-cost secondhand Model Ts, students and others with limited financial resources could soon experience the freedom and mobility that automobile ownership provided. More than 23 million vehicles were on the highways of the United States by 1929. In 1911, the New Orleans Times Picayune published an advertising for Ford’s Model T. It is important to note that prices have not yet fallen significantly from their original high of $850 per gallon. Using an assembly line, Ford was able to reduce labor costs throughout the manufacturing process by moving the product from one team of workers to another, each of whom completed a step so simple that they had to be, in Ford’s words, “no smarter than an ox.” The assembly line helped Ford reduce labor costs throughout the manufacturing process by moving the product from one team of workers to another, each of whom completed a step so simple that they had to be, in Ford’s words, “no smarter than With Ford’s dependence on the moving assembly line, scientific management, and time-motion research, he was able to place greater emphasis on efficiency than on skill. Workers on a Ford automotive manufacturing line are shown in this photograph from a 1928 Literary Digest interview with Henry Ford, which was published in the magazine. For Ford employees, the company’s concentration on low-cost mass production had both positive and negative consequences. Since Ford did not allow his employees to form a labor union, and since the assembly line job was monotonous and repetitive, the company had a high employee turnover rate. But he increased workers’ wages to five dollars per day and made the workday eight hours long, thereby doubling their salary (a reduction from the norm). Due to the fact that he paid white and black workers equally, Ford’s assembly line provided greater equity than most other chances at the time. African Americans from the South flocked to Detroit and other big northern cities in search of higher salaries in the manufacturing industry. A tract of land in the Amazonian rainforest twice as large as Delaware, which Ford named Fordlandia, was purchased by Ford with the purpose of developing an industrial town he called Fordlandia. It was there that his midwestern Puritanism was rejected even more than his factory discipline, and the initiative was ultimately doomed. But in the United States, Ford was instrumental in establishing the nation’s style of industrialism, which was based on providing employees a living wage so that they could afford to be the consumers of their own creations. Because of the vehicle, both economically and socially, the United States of America has transformed. Automobile manufacture prompted the expansion of industries such as glass, steel, and rubber processing. As Americans’ reliance on oil rose and the country shifted from a coal-based economy to one based on petroleum, the oil sector in California, Oklahoma, and Texas grew and expanded. Local and state governments were forced to support a massive expansion of infrastructure as a result of the demand for public highways. This allowed hotels and restaurants to sprout up and provide new services to millions of increasingly mobile Americans with disposable income. This new infrastructure ushered in a variety of new retail and living patterns, with streetcar suburbs giving way to automotive suburbs as private automobile traffic on public highways began to take the place of mass transportation through trains and trolleys. Not only did ground transportation undergo significant modifications throughout the 1920s, but also air travel saw significant transformations during this period. Flying had been around for about two decades by the mid-1920s, with some pioneering women, such as the African American stunt pilot Bessie Coleman, joining them. The appropriateness of airplanes for long-distance travel, on the other hand, remained a source of contention. A famous quote by Orville Wright, who was credited with being one of the early pioneers of aviation technology in the United States, reads: “No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Parisno known motor can operate at the required speed for four days without halting.” However, in 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, flying from New York to Paris in thirty-three hours, putting an end to this doubt. In 1927, aviator Charles Lindbergh took out from New York City and flew from there to Paris, France, in his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis (a). In order to obtain her pilot’s license abroad since American flying schools refused to accept black pupils, stunt pilot Bessie Coleman (b), the daughter of sharecroppers from Texas, learnt herself French. As a result of his flight, Lindbergh became a global hero, and the most well-known American in the whole globe. American citizens greeted Trump with a ticker-tape parade, which is an annual ceremony in which shredded paper thrown from nearby buildings produces a lively, flurry-like atmosphere. His journey, which he performed in the monoplaneSpirit of St. Louis, was hailed as a victory of individuality in a contemporary mass society, and showed Americans’ capacity to conquer the skies with new technological innovations. Immediately following his triumph, the little airline business began to flourish, finally coming into its own in the 1930s when firms such as Boeing and Ford created airplanes that were specially tailored to the needs of passenger air transportation. Increased popularity of air travel occurred as engine and passenger compartment design technology advanced. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), around 450,000 domestic aviation passengers traveled inside the United States per year in 1934. It was over two million at the end of the decade, a significant rise over the previous year. It was claimed in this advertisement for Palmolive soap that the soap’s “moderate price is due to popularity, to the enormous demand which keeps Palmolive factories working day and night,” and that as a result, “the old-time luxury of the few may now be enjoyed throughout the world.” The advertisement appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1922. Transportation was not the only aspect of society that was touched by technological advancement. Inventors began to produce new and more complicated household appliances as electricity became more widely available and the efficiency of the electric motor was improved. During this time period, new technological inventions such as radios, phonographs, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and refrigerators entered the market. Despite the fact that they were pricey, new consumer-purchasing technologies like as store credit and payment plans made them more accessible to a greater proportion of the public than previously. Many of these technologies promised to provide greater opportunity for women, who continued to bear main responsibility for housekeeping, to venture out of the house and broaden their horizons, which they did. The irony is that by elevating the standards of domestic work, these labor-saving gadgets also increased the amount of work that women were expected to undertake. These instruments resulted in women cleaning and washing more regularly, as well as cooking more elaborate meals, rather than obtaining more free time as they had hoped. Despite the fact that the promise of greater leisure time was mostly unmet, the allure of technology as a gateway to a more relaxed way of life has persisted throughout the years. An example of the effect of another booming business, advertising, was this long-lived ambition of a family’s. Cars, home appliances, ready-to-wear apparel, and processed foods were all significantly reliant on the efforts of advertisements to reach a large audience. During this period, magazines such asLadies’ Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Postbecame platforms for connecting marketers with middle-class customers. Colorful and oftentimes controversial print advertising adorned the pages of these magazines, and they eventually became a mainstay of popular culture in the United States of America. But the advertising were not in a new format
  4. Rather, they were in an old one. In reality, these eye-catching print advertisements were only the most recent iteration of a marketing tactic that dates back to the 19th century. Radio, which was introduced in the 1920s as a new advertising medium that would reach out to customers in fundamentally different and novel ways, quickly became popular. When radios were first introduced during World War I, they quickly became a familiar fixture in American homes during the 1920s. Over the course of a decade, hundreds more radio stations sprung up. These stations produced and transmitted news, serial tales, and political speeches, among other programs. Advertising space was intermingled with entertainment, similar to how print media was done in the past. Consumers’ active engagement was not required, as was the case with magazines and newspapers, therefore advertisers did not have to rely on this. Customers who were within hearing distance of the radio might hear the advertisements. They had to be more cautious and careful not to upset anyone since they had a larger audience, on the other side. Playback of a tape of the “WLS Showboat: “The Floating Palace of Wonder,” a variety show aired from WLS Chicago, a radio station owned and operated by Sears Roebuck & Company. Tell me about the 1920s entertainment scene, based on this video clip. As a result of the power of radio, processes of nationalization and homogeneity that had already begun with the widespread circulation of newspapers made possible by railways and telegraphs gained much more momentum. In contrast to these print-based media, radio developed and broadcasted American culture, bringing it into the homes of families across the country far more successfully than they did. It was the late 1920s when syndicated radio programs like Amos & Andy began to delight audiences throughout the country, and in the case of the popularAmos & Andy, it did so by using racial stereotypes about African Americans that were familiar from minstrel performances of the previous century. The internet had broken down the barriers that had previously isolated little pockets of the country from one another. Thanks to the radio, Americans could tune in to the same programs, no matter where they were in the country. Because of this, regional distinctions in dialect, language, music, and even consumer preference were smoothed out over time. Sporting events in the United States were altered by radio. Sports entertainment became more accessible to millions of people once the advent of play-by-play descriptions of athletic events aired on radio was made possible. Popularizing sports stars and their achievements through radio was also beneficial. As one of the world’s top athletes, Jim Thorpe, who grew up in Oklahoma’s Sac and Fox Nation, was widely regarded as such: He represented the United States in the 1912 Olympic Games, played baseball in Major League Baseball, and was a founding member of the National Football League (NFL). Other sports celebrities were well-known in a very short period of time as well. After swimming the English Channel for the first time in 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to do it. “Big Bill” Tilden dominated men’s tennis throughout the 1920s, capturing the national singles championship every year from 1920 to 1925. Helen Wills dominated women’s tennis during this period, winning Wimbledon eight times in the late ’20s. Harold “Red” Grange was a running back for the University of Illinois during his college football career, averaging more than 10 yards per carry on the ground. Most famous of all was Babe Ruth, known as the “Sultan of Swat” because he was the first baseball hero in America. It was he who transformed baseball from a low-scoring, pitcher-dominated sport into one in which his hitting became legendary. As of 1923, the vast majority of pitchers purposely walked him. A total of sixty home runs were hit by him in the season of 1924. A four-time World Series winner, Babe Ruth (a) guided the New York Yankees to four consecutive titles. This snapshot from 1921 shows him outside the New York Yankees’ dugout, which was taken by his father. Her career included 31 Grand Slam wins, including eight singles titles at Wimbledon from 1927 to 1938. Helen Wills (b) won a total of 31 Grand Slam titles throughout her professional career, including eight singles victories at Wimbledon between 1927 and 1938. credit a: Library of Congress modified the original work The decade of the 1920s was a decade of extraordinary wealth for many middle-class citizens in the United States. Inflation increased disposable income, which allowed people to spend more money on things like food, entertainment, leisure, and consumer goods. Due to the confluence of this new affluence with and the stimulation of technical advancements, entertainment forms such as cinema, sports, and radio shows experienced a resurgence in popularity. Henry Ford’s improvements in assembly-line efficiency resulted in a really inexpensive automobile, allowing many more people in the United States to buy a car than previously possible. A large industry developed around advertising, which grew in importance alongside the manufactured commodities that advertisers promoted. Many families relied on new kinds of credit to enhance their consumption levels and aim for a new American standard of life.
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Review Question

  1. In order to make cars more accessible to the general public, Henry Ford transformed the automobile business in the United States. The following measures were used to achieve this goal: he refused to let workers to form unions, established an eight-hour workday, increased workers’ earnings, supported equal pay for black and white workers, and employed assembly lines to streamline production. In this way, the vehicle began to be seen as a symbol of middle-class living rather than a luxury item reserved for the upper classes

Glossary

Hollywood Starting in the 1910s, filmmakers and producers were drawn to Hollywood, a small town north of Los Angeles, California, because of its reliable sunshine and lower production costs; by the 1920s, Hollywood had emerged as the center of American film production, with five major studios dominating the industry. It was the Ford Motor Company’s Model T, which was the first automobile developed by the company that took advantage of the economies of scale afforded by assembly-line production and was thus affordable to a significant part of the public.

A New Society: Economic & Social Change

During the 1920s, a wave of economic and social transformation swept over the country, bringing to the Great Depression. Some of the excitement and changes in social traditions that were taking place during the time period are reflected in the nicknames given to this decade, such as “the Jazz Age” or “the Roaring Twenties.” During this period of economic expansion, salaries climbed for the majority of Americans while prices declined, resulting in a greater standard of living and a significant increase in consumer spending.

  • Although “labor-saving” household appliances and the ability to vote did not have a significant impact on the majority of women’s lives, young American women were altering the way they dressed, thought, and acted in ways that surprised their more conventional parents.
  • Consumerism and the economy are booming.
  • Between 1920 and 1929, the number of automobiles on the road nearly quadrupled, spurring the production of steel, rubber, plate glass, and other materials used in the construction of automobiles and other vehicles.
  • Essentially, standardization meant that every automobile looked the same, which led to the joke that a buyer could order a car in any color they wanted as long as it was black.
  • A significant influence on pricing was exerted by these innovations: the Model T, which sold for $850 in 1908, sold for $290 in 1924.
  • Ford paid the highest compensation in the industry and instituted the 5-day, 40-hour workweek in order to foster employee loyalty and prevent the formation of unions.
  • Union membership decreased by over two million between 1920 and 1929 as a result of this strategy, which was aided by the use of yellow dog contracts, which required employees to pledge not to join a union.
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In order to induce mass consumption, a mix of advertising, which generated demand for a certain product, and installment buying, which enabled people to actually acquire the goods, was used successfully.

Advertisers took advantage of the newfound tranquility by targeting consumers through newspapers, mass circulation magazines, and radio advertisements.

The effect of advertising even extended to the realm of religion.

Providing customers with the option to purchase on credit was also an effective marketing strategy.

As a result, Americans’ savings rate plummeted dramatically in the 1920s, and their personal debt increased dramatically.

In the 1920s, the flapper was a young lady with short hair who dressed in knee-length dresses, rolled-up stockings, and unbuttoned rain boots that flapped as she walked (thus the term).

After promoting birth control as a method of protecting poor women from undesired births before World War I, Margaret Sanger believed that the diaphragm provided women with greater sexual freedom.

Scott Fitzgerald’s novelsThis Side of Paradise(1920) andThe Great Gatsby(1925), as well as cinema stars such as Gloria Swanson, embodied the new woman’s mystique.

The rapid growth in the number of women entering the labor market during World War I came to an abrupt halt with the signing of the Armistice in 1918.

Despite the fact that there are more women in the workforce, there has been little progress on issues such as employment discrimination or equal pay.

Women’s political advancement stagnated as a result of the enactment of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the Equal Rights Amendment was first submitted in Congress in 1923, and Nellie Ross became the first woman to be elected governor of a state (Wyoming) the following year, there were still sections of the country where women were barred from holding elective positions.

The black population of Chicago increased from less than 50,000 in 1910 to almost 250,000 by 1930, a significant increase.

During this period, Abolitionist Marcus Garvey, who advocated for black pride and supported a “back to Africa” movement among American blacks, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which espoused black economic cooperation and established black-owned grocery stores, restaurants, and even a steamship company, known as the Black Star Line, among other enterprises.

While this was going on, New York’s premier black neighborhood, Harlem, became a mecca for African-American artists and writers as well as academics, historians, and musicians.

In the 1920s, African-Americans were not the only minority group on the move.

Despite the fact that the majority of the Spanish-speaking people lived in the Southwest and California and worked as agricultural workers, a tiny fraction obtained manufacturing jobs in the Midwest and was occasionally recruited by American corporations in the United States of America Popular culture is defined as: The first commercial radio transmission took place in 1920, when the Pittsburgh station KDKA relayed the results of the presidential election from Washington.

Due to the fast expansion in the number of radio-equipped households (from 60,000 in 1922 to more than 10 million in 1929), the airwaves became the primary medium through which Americans received news and entertainment.

During the 1920s, motion pictures were a key part of the entertainment business, and the greatest stars of the era — Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and Rudolph Valentino — established themselves as cultural icons.

It was not until 1927 that “going to the movies” became a social occasion and one of the primary pastimes for young people that it became an even larger sensation, thanks to the publication of The Jazz Singer, which was the first motion picture to feature “talking.” Government censorship appeared to be a distinct possibility as the storylines and themes of films became increasingly suggestive, and after Hollywood faced a series of scandals, it appeared that the industry would be forced to “clean up its act.” It was in 1922 that the studios formed the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, popularly known as the Hays Office (after its first president, Will H.

  1. Hays), in order to exert greater control over the substance of motion pictures.
  2. In the new tabloid newspapers such as New York City’sDaily NewsandDaily Mirror, the adventures of celebrities were splattered over the pages, but in Henry Luce’s weekly newsmagazineTime, their escapades were portrayed more subtly (1923).
  3. Beginning in 1926, the Book-of-the Month Club and the Literary Guild, both of which were founded in New York City, revolutionized publishing by giving huge discounts on the “best” novels that they believed everyone should read.
  4. Several authors chose issues that had not before been treated on the stage to explore them further.

Fitzgerald stated in This Side of Paradise that his age, which writer Gertrude Stein dubbed the “lost generation,” had “grown up to discover all gods dead,” and that they had “grown up to find all gods dead.” However, despite the widespread belief among Fitzgerald’s disillusioned contemporaries that there were no heroes in postwar America, the decade of the 1920s produced heroes of a different kind.

Athletes like as baseball’s Babe Ruth, boxing’s heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, and football’s Red Grange were well-known celebrities whose exploits were followed by millions of people in newspapers and on radio and television stations.

Richard Byrd was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his flight over the North Pole in 1926, and he gained international recognition for his explorations of Antarctica in the following year.

Charles Lindbergh, following his solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean in March 1927, became without a doubt the most renowned person in America, if not the whole globe.

A Consumer Economy [ushistory.org]

On Thanksgiving Day, Santa Claus waves to youngsters outside a department shop as part of a parade. It was a decade of increased comforts for the middle class in the United States throughout the 1920s. New items made home duties easier to complete, allowing people to spend more time relaxing. Products that were previously beyond of reach become inexpensive. Every household was able to spend in excess of their present financial capabilities thanks to new kinds of financing. Advertising made use of people’s aspirations and concerns in order to sell an increasing number of items.

Changing Housework

The Regent Theater, known as “America’s First Movie Palace,” was built in 1898. By the end of the 1920s, home chores had been completely transformed. Before the twenties, a typical work week for a housewife included a slew of time-consuming duties. All of the furniture had been taken off of the carpets, which had been rolled up and carried outside to get rid of the filth and dust that had accumulated over the course of the week. Replacement of ice in the refrigerator and replacement of the waterpan that lay beneath it were both done on a regular basis.

  • The creases were smoothed out using an iron that was heated on the stove.
  • Clothes were manufactured according to designs, and bread was baked from scratch every morning.
  • Vacuum cleaners have taken the position of the carpet beater.
  • With the development of new ways of preserving and freezing, store-bought food became affordable and effective enough to eliminate this labor.
  • Bakeries as large as huge supermarkets were supplying bread to the new supermarkets.

Buying on Credit

The phrase “Buy now, pay later” became the rallying cry of many middle-class Americans during the Roaring ’20s. All of these modern amenities were out of reach for the single-income family who couldn’t buy them all at once. Retailers, on the other hand, wanted the consumer to have it all. The Department of Commerce extended substantial lines of credit to people who were unable to pay in full up front but could demonstrate a willingness to pay in the future. Similar installment arrangements were made available to buyers who could not afford the full purchase price up front but could make “twelve simple installments” over time.

Consumers in the United States of America might truly have it all if they had an iron stomach for debt.

Advertising

New advertising strategies contributed to the increase in customer demand. This was not a new industry, but in an increasingly competitive economy, manufacturers were looking to more and more aggressive advertising efforts to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One important feature of the decade was the employment of popular psychology approaches to persuade Americans that a product was necessary to their daily lives. For example, the Listerine campaign was a great illustration of this.

Consumers may not have been aware of the existence of halitosis, but they were certain that they did not want it.

Radio became in importance as a new technique of transmitting a commercial message to the public.

Testimonials from Hollywood film stars helped to drive record sales for the company. Consumer desire for the gadgets and appliances developed by American industries was fueled by the advertising industry.

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